New study: Drug deaths ‘significantly higher’ in Oklahoma than most of the country

OKLAHOMA CITY – While there has been much talk about the opioid crisis in recent months, a new study shows that several states are more heavily impacted by drugs than others.

The number of drug-related deaths in the United States has spiked over the past couple of decades, but some areas of the country are more affected than others.

A new Syracuse University study shows there are major geographical differences in drug mortality rates.

“Failure to consider the substantial geographic variation in drug-related mortality rates may lead to failure to target the hardest-hit areas,” Shannon Monnat, the author of the study, told HealthDay News.

John Auerbach, president and CEO of the Trust for America’s Health, said there is a strong correlation between drug use and social and economic factors.

Drug deaths were significantly higher in Oklahoma, Applachia, parts of the Southwest and northern California.

The rates were lower in parts of the Northeast, Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.